Sheelah, I’m glad there is a tech person out there looking into your missing post. In the meantime, know that, even on those occasions when your posts don’t upload to the public Forum properly, they DO seem to be forwarded on to those of us who have subscribed to receive private notifications of postings. [I briefly thought about posting your comments from my side, since my account doesn’t seem to be suffering from the technical bug. However, I ultimately decided that might lead too easily to added confusion. I am now trying a point out where I believe I was misunderstood by you (and likely others, if anyone is reading). So, if I were to state the misunderstanding of me under my name, it might be too much to unravel.]
Anyone other than Sheelah who might be reading this (now or at a later date), one of Sheelah’s recent posts (which I have read but may or may not be visible on this board) convinced me that I had done a very poor job or expressing two of my ideas. One I address above on May 5. I am now trying to clarify a point regarding an April 12 post on the Module 1.3 Forum. While there is more to Sheelah’s missing comments that these two small matters (and so I hope it gets successfully uploaded soon), the particular segment of Sheelah’s missing post that is relevant to what I discuss today can be inferred from what follows:
Again, I want to apologize for what appears to have been a lack of clarity in an earlier post. I never understood James’ essay title “Don’t speak until you are spoken to” to be an introductory command for a list of further commandments. I actually meant to contrast James’ usage of the phrase against the take-charge attitude with which that line is (in my experience) normally delivered. Sheelah, I agree that it is a quirky utterance. I think James’ creative employment of a common phrase succeeded in removing all the imperatival force from an imperatival structure and, thereby, left us with a simple statement: “Those people who believe themselves to be speaking before they have been spoken to are flatly mistaken about what speaking is.”
I think a parallel rhetorical twist may have been performed by the one who in Exodus self identifies as “YHWH your God Who brought you out of the land of Egypt” when saying “you shall have no other gods before Me.” Syntactically, this line is structured as a command; the semantics, nevertheless, may be read as a declarative statement of a timeless truth. It is with a very rudimentary understanding of Girard’s work that I suggest the following reading of the first word of the Decalogue, so please, Sheelah, look over my shoulder to see if this next bit fits into Mimetic Theory.
Girard contends that gods are nothing more than the stuff of human projections, which were conjured during the aftermath of some scapegoating episode in which a community killed one of its own. As such, no god can ever “appear” without there first having been an extirpated victim. If such a victim were to speak to a crowd about gods, this extirpated one could assert (i.e., assert as a matter of fact—not deliver as some order that may or may not be followed) that “You aren’t going to ever have a god without having had Me in your midst first—you just can’t do it. It can’t work any other way; you don’t get to gods with having the victim pass by first” Or, to adopt a nautical metaphor, “Each and every last one of the gods is a tag-along who never manages anything more than to glide about within the wake I cut; it is roundly impossible for any of them to swim ahead into the area in front of my bow.”